Libya’s Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj visited on Wednesday the country’s war-torn city of Sirte.
This was his first visit since forces of the Tripoli-based government launched an offensive on the city more than three months ago, to oust militants of the Islamic state.
Speaking to local military commanders and other officials from the UN backed government, the premier praised the fighters involved in the operation of driving out the group.
“Thanks to the bravery of our heroes and our young men, the recent advances that have been made (against Islamic State) have been unprecedented. Many wagered that the battle for Sirte would become an international battle, they thought it would become another Syria. But our young men proved them wrong with their courage and their achievements on the ground. We know very well their circumstances, the limited capabilities available to them. They are not what some have hoped for, but as we have said before and we will say again, this is a national project, we are trying to unite the Libyan people in the fight against terrorism,” he said.
The soldiers are in the final stages of recapturing the whole town, that has been long known as a stronghold for the jihadist group, with only one neighbourhood remaining.
An estimated population of 90,000 have fled the city and more than 400 loyalist fighters have lost their lives since the battle began.